Hurting and Pain — Morning Devotions - Hope 103.2

Hurting and Pain — Morning Devotions

Hurting and pain build our endurance and character. Jesus, God's only Son, died a terrible death on the cross and understands all who suffer.

Listen: Chris Witts presents Morning Devotions. (Airing daily on Hope 103.2 and Inspire Digital at 9am)

By Chris WittsThursday 20 Jan 2022Morning Devotions with Chris WittsFaithReading Time: 4 minutes

I like the story of David, a little two-year-old boy who tragically had leukaemia. He lived with his family in the US State of Massachusetts, and his mother took him to see Dr John Truman in a general hospital, Boston.

Dr Truman is a specialist in treating children with cancer and other blood diseases. The diagnosis was not good: He has a 50-50 chance of survival was the doctor’s verdict. It was terrible news for the family. You imagine how they felt. Mum was devastated. And it meant the clinic visits, blood tests, intravenous drugs, the fear and pain.

The mother’s ordeal can be almost as bad as the child’s because she must stand by. But here’s the amazing thing. David never cried in the waiting room. His new friends in the rooms had to stick needles in, and it was painful. At age three, he had to have a spinal tap, a painful procedure at any age! It was explained to him that because he was sick, Dr Truman had to hurt him. David’s mother said, If it hurts, remember it’s because he loves you. The procedure was horrendous. It took three nurses to hold him still while he yelled, sobbed and struggled. When it was almost over, the tiny boy, soaked in sweat and tears, looked up at the doctor and said, Thank you, Dr Truman, for my hurting.

What a wonderful illustration and lesson in life. A three-year-old boy understood something many of us adults fails to realise. Some pain and hurts are necessary, for something better to come. No-one likes the pain of a broken leg or arm. But we endure what has to be done for healing to occur. And, can I say the same thing applies in life.

Life’s hard way

Mary E. Pearson, the American writer, said in The Fox Inheritance: “Sometimes there’s not a better way. Sometimes there’s only the hard way.” And Muhammad Ali shared this thought: “All through my life, I have been tested. My will has been tested; my courage has been tested, my strength has been tested. Now my patience and endurance are being tested.” (The Soul of a Butterfly: Reflections on Life’s Journey)

Some people have experienced excruciating pain. The United States Senator John McCain describes that while he was a prisoner of war, several times his captors shackled his wrists behind his back, tied a rope between his elbows and twisted the rope until his elbows and shoulder broke with an audible ‘crack’. He describes that while this was happening, he heard someone screaming blocks away and then he realised that screaming was his.

Much has been said and written on this matter of pain and suffering. It is a profound topic, and we could spend many hours talking about it. We can easily become angry and bitter saying, Why me? And then blame God for the experience. I guess that’s a fairly normal reaction. But there has to be a better way. Hurt and pain.

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Could we ever get to the point of saying, Thank you God for my hurting?

Author Charles Dickens wrote:

Suffering has been stronger than all another teaching, and has taught me to understand what your heart used to be. I have been bent and broken, but—I hope—into a better shape.

Building endurance

I want to encourage you with words from the Apostle Paul in Romans 5 where he said something quite unusual:

We know that suffering helps us to endure. And endurance builds character, which gives us hope that will never disappoint us. All of this happens because God has given us the Holy Spirit, who fills our hearts with His love”. (Romans 5:4-5).

The point is this. God can take our pain and hurts and in his mystical way, turn them into good. Sometimes it’s very surprising how that happens. The amazing thing about trusting God is that our problems are opportunities to discover God’s solutions. Sir Roger Bannister, the first man to break the elusive four-minute-mile barrier, once said, “The man who can drive himself further, once the effort gets painful, is the man who will win.”

That’s well and good, you say, You don’t know my pain. But unfortunately, life has its painful moments for each of us. What do we do? Give up? No.

Give your life to God the Father who loves you and wants the best for you. He understands the pain and hurt. He watched Jesus, his only Son, be mistreated and die a terrible death. Jesus knew the meaning of pain. And, if you have pain, he understands you, too.